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New Tax on Alcohol and Cigarettes to Hit Galveston Cruisers

Heads up Galveston cruisers. If you’re bringing back alcohol or cigarettes from you cruise, then you will be a little bit lighter in the pocketbook.

Starting on January 4, 2014, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC) will begin charging “personal importation taxes” on cruisers debarking in Galveston.

Up until now cruisers were allowed to bring back small amounts of alcohol and cigarettes for personal use without paying any extra tax. This allowed you to buy from the duty-free shops aboard the ship (or buy at a port of call) and save a significant amount on taxes. Now passengers will be charged a nominal fee for whatever they bring in.

For alcohol, the tax is fairly small — $3.75 for a liter of booze. For cigarettes, it is a pricey $1.50 per pack.

Below we have a full breakdown of all the taxes from the TABC’s website:


While the new tax hits Galveston in January, Bayport cruisers will have a little extra “tax free” time. The TABC has said they plan to start taxing there in the fall of 2014.

2 Responses so far.

  1. tim says:

    As bad as the mob wants there cut. Greed

  2. George says:

    Norwegian gave me a bottle of champagne but I didn’t open it. I’m from Pennsylvania so I got off the cruise ship and went to the airport. Texas charged me $3.25 just to transport the champagne through their state. It’s just robbery so no more cruises out of Texas for me. I’m serious. Sorry, Norwegian.

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